The UN oil-for-food program could be renewed for a further six months following Russia's rejection of the US-British proposal to revamp the sanctions regime imposed on Baghdad, an Iraqi newspaper said Thursday, June 28.
A six-month renewal of the humanitarian program "is plausible in current circumstances," said Babel, run by President Saddam Hussein's elder son, Uday.
On June 1, the UN Security Council agreed to a one-month rollover of the oil-for-food program, while the council debated the US-British proposal for so-called "smart" sanctions.
The chances of the UN Security Council adopting the proposal before the July 3 deadline were "very small, if not zero"," Babel said.
"While Russia has not announced it was going to use its right of veto, the content of its last statement warns it might," it said.
On Tuesday, Russia told the Security Council it could not accept the US-backed British draft, and submitted a counter-proposal with a timetable for suspending sanctions, which was also rejected by Iraq on Wednesday.
The oil-for-food program, in operation since late 1996, permits the sale of Iraqi oil under the supervision of the UN in order to provide humanitarian aid for Iraq's general population. — (AFP)
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